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All You Need To Know About Instrument Transformers

All You Need To Know About Instrument Transformers



We see transformers used to step up or down the voltage in our daily lives. Their primary purpose is to convey electric current from alternating circuits to other connected courses. However, there isn't physical contact between them.

The process through which the transformers convey the electricity is known as mutual induction. It refers to a process where a change of magnetic flux in the primary coil induces a current on the second coil.

Transformers divides into other categories, and all of them serve different purposes in the electrical power system. Some do as the best innovation for the distribution of current. At the same time, others are ideal for stepping up or stepping down the voltage.

What Is An Instrument Transformer?

When working on an AC system, there is always a need to measure the electrical quantities: power, voltage, current, etc. That’s when we use an instrument transformer. They are the type of transformers used to step down the voltage and current in the AC system.

As you might know, the magnitude of current and voltage in the power system is relatively high. So, measuring current and voltage through traditional instruments will be an impossible task. However, using an instrument transformer will allow you to step down (decrease) the voltage, and measuring the decreased voltage would be an easier task.  

Types of Instrument Transformers

The instrument transformer is further divided into two categories

· Current Transformer

In the power system, we need transformers to generate alternating current in the secondary coil directly proportional to the AC in the primary coil. So, for this purpose, we use the Current Transformer, a type of instrument transformer.

As they are step-down transformers, they decrease the voltage to half or less for monitoring the current used in the AC transmission. It connects via series to the circuit. The higher magnitude of voltage will decrease to a lower extent. Thus, it will be feasible to measure current efficiently.

· Potential Transformer

The potential transformer is the instrument transformer used to step down the voltage coming through the circuit. This way, the voltage measurement will be simple, and it will be able to measure by a voltmeter.

Also, the primary windings of the potential transformer are connected parallel to the circuit. The number of turns in the primary coil is more significant than in the secondary coil. The secondary coil of the Potential transformer is connected directly to the voltmeter. Due to the considerable resistance of the voltmeter, the secondary windings work as an open circuit.

What Are Transformer Cores?

One of the essential parts of the transformer's body is its core. You may know that they work on the principle of mutual induction, which is done through the transformer cores.

In other words, it is a static device that is used to transmit power from one device to another through mutual induction. They possess a high magnetic penetrable ability. The transformer core can use that to guide the magnetic fields present in the transformer.

Types Of Transformer Core based on material

There are several types of transformers based on materials. A few of them are explained below.

· Transformers with Steel Laminated core

The permeability of these Steel Laminated cores plays a significant role in reducing the magnetic current. It makes an ideal option to transmit the voltage at an audio level frequency.

They comprise a rectangular-shaped soft magnetic core. Steel Laminated core's primary purpose is to carry extensive input and output transmissions, which is why they are used in transformers. Instrument transformers, distribution transformers, and power transformers are made of Steel laminated magnetic core.

· Transformers with Solid Core

Compared to other transformer cores, the Solid Core possesses the highest magnetic permeability and electrical resistance. It can serve as an advantage as they use it to transmit electrical energy. Moreover, the electrical transmission requires high frequency, safe and smooth performance.

They work ideally for revenue-grade or metering applications. Because of their sealed core, they can protect the sensor from any unusual debris or dust that may affect it adversely.

· Transformers with Toroidal Cores

Toroidal transformer cores compose an advanced electrical material like steel, which gives it a meager loss rate and provides high induction to get saturated by the transformer's magnetic core.

The toroidal transformer cores serve their primary purpose as inductors in electric circuits. They are best at handling a high energy load and are effective because of their circular design. Also, the circular design of the toroidal cores is obtained by wrapping the coil in tight turns in a circular form.

Types of Magnetic Core Materials for Transformer Cores

The types of magnetic cores serve various purposes as the transformer possesses primary cores, tertiary cores, and secondary coils. We use magnetic cores to create a pathway between the rings that convey the magnetic flux. The magnetic core is further divided into various types.

· Magnetic Core of Solid Iron

As the name suggests, the composition of these cores mainly relies on iron saturation. They are not suitable for AC applications, as they cannot cope with heat rates.

· Magnetic Core of Silicon Steel

The magnetic core manufacturers use silicon steel to compose these cores. The best thing about them is their durability; they can entirely function after years of use.

· Magnetic Core of Amorphous Metals

The material is glassy and amorphous. These transformer cores are ideal for high-performance transformers.

· Magnetic Core of Carbonyl Iron

The powder of carbonyl iron creates this magnetic core. Therefore, it provides balance and stability across the different temperature and magnetic flux levels.


Transformers are an ideal product to either step up or step down the voltage and ideally distribute it across the various electrical circuits. By reading this article, you'll be able to clearly understand the transformers, transformer cores, types of transformers, and isolated transformers, along with their different styles.

Moreover, we also made sure that you get a clear–cut idea about their work and their purpose in the power system. So, while choosing a transformer for an electric application, please read it as it will be a great help for you.  


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